Matthias Basedau / Annegret Mähler / Miriam Shabafrouz

Revisiting the Resource–Conflict Link: A Systematic Comparative Test of Causal Mechanisms in Four Major Oil-Exporting Countries

GIGA Working Paper, No. 175, August 2011

Abstract
Causal mechanisms and related contextual variables are crucial to the study of the resource–conflict link, but little systematic research has been done on their exact functioning. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap by comparing four major oil exporters (Algeria, Iran, Nigeria, and Venezuela) with differing levels of internal violence. To capture the causal complexity of the resource–conflict link we created a questionnaire with some 150 variables that distinguish between resource-specific (RS) and non-resource specific (NRS) conditions. The causal mechanisms are measured by assigning pertinent RS and NRS indicators to them. Our results suggest that the role of resources may be less prominent than is widely assumed. Only three resource-related causal mechanisms provide limited explanatory value (motive at subnational level, indirect economic, and institutional mechanism) by distinguishing Venezuela—the most peaceful case—from all the others. Only a mixed mechanism that combines 13 RS and NRS (economic and geographic characteristics, identity, intergroup relations, as well as political and institutional variables, including elite behavior) conditions can explain the differences between the countries with regard to the dependent variable comprehensively.

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Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs
Editor GIGA Focus Africa

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau is director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on political institutions and armed conflicts, as well as how both are linked to ethnicity, religion, and natural resources. He is also the regional coordinator for Central and West Africa within the framework of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Matthias Basedau

Party Systems in Africa

in: Nic Cheeseman (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

Lisa Hoffmann / Matthias Basedau / Simone Gobien / Sebastian Prediger

Universal love or one true religion? Experimental evidence of the ambivalent effect of religious ideas on altruism and discrimination

American Journal of Political Science, online first, 2019

Håvard Hegre / Marie Allansson / Matthias Basedau / Michael Colaresi / Mihai Croicu / Hanne Fjelde / Frederick Hoyles / Lisa Hultman / Stina Högbladh / Remco Jansen / Naima Mouhleb / Sayyed Auwn Muhammad / Desirée Nilsson / Håvard Mokleiv Nygård / Gudlaug Olafsdottir / Kristina Petrova / David Randahl / Espen Geelmuyden Rød / Gerald Schneider / Nina von Uexkull / Jonas Vestby

ViEWS: A political violence early-warning system

Journal of Peace Research, 56, 2019, 2, 155-174

Matthias Basedau

Progress Overlooked: The Case for More "Afropositivism"

GIGA Focus Africa, 02/2019

Matthias Basedau / Johanna Schaefer-Kehnert

Religious discrimination and religious armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa: an obvious relationship?

Religion, State and Society, 47, 2019, 1, 30-47